If you follow us, you might have noted some nice days lately when the Boss and I were not on the lake. And, you probably noticed we haven’t fished much lately…. a couple of things going on in our life, but none more important than Cody, our not yet three year old grandson.
Here is his story as we know it.
Around Christmas of 2010, Cody was about 21 months old. It was his second Christmas. But, he was sick with a bad cold or the flu, or something. But, it was a great Christmas and we all enjoyed seeing Cody trying to open presents and enjoying all the Christmas lights and such. He was a bit down due to being ill and maybe not as active as normal. But then, shortly after Christmas he became dramatically weaker, most notably, loosing strength in his arms. His parents took him to his doctor, then to another who sent him on to the hospital to be checked. Cody had a short stay at the local hospital and then he was transferred to Cook’s Children’s in Fort Worth. There were lots of doctors and lots of tests, tubes were inserted, blood samples and such taken. But no diagnosis. Cody was started on some once a month IV type treatments which lasted for a a couple of hours a day for 5 days, mostly administered while he slept. Then he was home for a while, the problem seemed slowed. Then, it began again and Cody was moved to Children’s in Dallas. More tests, and more IV treatments. Still no diagnosis. There were lots more visits to doctors and the hospital over the next months. The once a month IV treatments seemed to have stopped his muscle deterioration. But, only small improvements if any were seen. There was even a trip to Detroit to a research hospital. But, no answers.
All the while, Cody remained a happy boy. Nothing seemed to phase him. If he couldn’t do something he worked on figuring out what it took to get it done. And, he wanted to do things by himself. Small accomplishments made him very happy. It would be “Yeah, Cody!” Something he learned from his Mom who was just great with him. She began home schooling him. He learned the alphabet, and his numbers, counting everything. He also loved singing. His Mimi sang Christmas carols and hymns to him when he laid down at night to sleep. He learned those. One of his favorites was “Silent Night.”
It is hard for folks to understand his problems without seeing him. Here is a short video of Cody showing his smarts figuring out how to move refrigerator magnets.
This is one of thousands of little tasks he would figure out how to do. Eventually, he lost all use of his hands and used his feet to do things. He was a smart and determined little boy. And happy, so happy. Each accomplishment was a great joy to him.
He also loved coming to “Mimi and Papa’s house,” the farm, not that it is. We had the joy of keeping him a day or two a week for his parents. He came out here and wanted to go “OUTSIDE!” Sunshine or rain, in the heat or in the cold, it was “OUTSIDE!” He had a list of things that he liked to do and once here he was on a mission. It was “See Tucker – Duchess”…. our labs. And though they look alike he recognized them individually. “NO KISSES, DUCHESS!” he would say. And, it was “Boat”.. he loved to play in the bass boat. He climbed all over it like a jungle-gym. He sat in the driver’s seat and drove. He blew the horn. It was a big accomplishment to get his hand up there and to press the button with his palm. He played with the retractable dock ropes, I would pull them out and give them to him and he would let them go so it raced back into the hole. Big laughs. He loved to sit in the chair on the front deck and spin around and around. Then he wanted to fish. He had seen his Dad fish and he wanted to fish. We fixed him up a little reel that we would toss out for him. Sometimes he would work for long periods winding in a cast. Then he wanted to run the tolling motor. We would turn it on and he would push the button and watch the prop spin. He was fishing.
He had other favorites too. Swinging in the porch swing. Playing in the dirt. Playing in the hammock. Just let him be outside. He loved to play in my Dad’s old Bronco. I had tried to sell it a couple of years ago, but didn’t. It became another playhouse for Cody. He called it Mimi’s Truck because she would get in there and play with him. He also loved the tractors. My John Deere ridding lawn mower and my old Allis Chambers mowing tractor. He always wanted to ride. And we did. Last fall he had grown too big to carry around much. He had to be carried because he couldn’t walk to far without tiring. Anyway, we bought him a John Deere electric tractor so he could maybe ride by himself. Boy, did he love that. It was “Cody’s Tractor!” It became the go to activity out here. We could sit him on it and he could hit that foot feed and drive! And drive he did. He loved the freedom. We would walk along side to occasionally change the steering as he could not turn the wheel. But we could set it and it would go in big circles and he would say “Sit swing Mimi… watch Cody” meaning for us to sit down and let him ride by himself. More photos…
That Cody was a big LSU fan…. “LSU Tigers” he would say when he looked at my and his Dad’s caps.
Cody at Grapevine Mills Mall with his “Texas Rangers” shirt.
Cody with the “Alligator” at Grapevine Mills.
Cody on “Cody’s Tractor” with Duchess on guard.
Cody in “Mimi’s Truck”
Cody and Papa riding tractors.
Cody and Papa at the park pond to feed the ducks.
Along about October this year, his other grandparents bought him an iPad because he was smart and could use an iPhone to look at pictures. Soon he was picking out his own videos and playing them. So, we made him a video and posted it on YouTube so he could connect to it and see us if he wanted. We called it a visit to the farm. But now, we see it as our “phone call to heaven” with our message to him.
We picked Cody up last Wednesday from his Mom. We took him to Cabelas and let him visit the “Fish House” and see all the stuffed animals. The greeter at Cabelas even knew Cody because he came so often. The greeters at Bass Pro Shop also knew Cody because he came to their “Fish House” as well and he loved the “Cars” they had at Christmas. He continually would badger us to go “See the Cars” at the fish house”. But, after Cabelas we brought him on out to the house and he got to see Tucker – Duchess. He got to play in the Boat. And he got to ride in the wagon behind Papa’s tractor. And he rode that little John Deere. He ran the battery down on it. He played down. He went down for his nap on our bed, watching Super Why as usual. Quickly though, he wanted “Cody’s bed.” He slept well and long. His Mom picked him up later that day. That evening they went to Grapevine Mill Mall where Cody did more of his favorite things. He saw the “alligator.” He rode the cars and saw the train. A great day and a happy day.
Then he passed in his sleep Wednesday night. God Bless Cody. He is an angel in Heaven now. I hope he can still get our phone call in Heaven.